(University of Turku, Finland)
Keywords: Finland, Turku, excavations, urban studies, research
Old towns with long histories bear also long research histories. In Finland, this concerns especially the medieval town of Turku, which has been a target for archaeological excavations and observations for more than a century by now. This activity has resulted an abundance of material as well as a diversity of documentation, which can be either considered as a problem or a possibility or both – depending on the attitude of the researcher and aspects of the study.
In my study about construction activities in Turku, I noticed that also the material from older excavations can reveal useful information. In this paper, the contribution of the old material from excavations of different kind will be presented with a couple of practical examples. However, the study contained obvious selectivity and therefore the question arose whether the old material should be approached systematically in larger quantities with equal interest and not only with specific questions and within a particular study.
The aim of this paper is to present a preliminary project, in which old excavations of Turku are re-inventoried, analyzed, valued and represented. Does this project entail merely a lot of work with a questionable profitability? Or does it open up new research possibilities and collaboration between different disciplines from a firmer basis with different approaches?